The Investment Management Association says net fund retail sales fell by 40 per cent in 2011 to £18bn, reflecting investors’ cautious approach due to the eurozone crisis.
Last year’s net retail sales were down from £29.3bn in 2010.
Cautious managed was the best-selling sector last year, with net retail sales of £3.4bn. The sterling strategic bond sector was second with net sales of £2.8bn, followed by the global sector with £2.2bn. In terms of sales by assets, balanced funds led with net retail sales of £5.6bn. Bond funds came second with a total of £4.5bn.
The Europe excluding UK sector had the biggest outflows of £679m.
A total of £100m was withdrawn from money market funds, the only asset class to see net retail outflows over the year.
IMA chief executive Richard Saunders says 2011 was “a year of two halves”, with the opening six months maintaining the strong sales of 2009 and 2010.
He adds: “Investors then turned much more cautious in the second half of the year, perhaps unsettled by the euro- zone crisis.”